HARRISON, N.J. — Here are three things we learned from the New York Red Bulls‘ 2-0 loss to Santos Laguna in the first leg of the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals Tuesday night at Red Bull Arena.
Down but not out
Yes, it doesn’t look good. Going to Mexico needing one away goal is tough enough, but two goals is a big ask.
And while Santos will be the heavy favorite at Estadio Corona on Tuesday, the Red Bulls are not about to wave the white flag.
They’re hoping for some more magic in Mexico after a historic 2-0 win over Club Tijuana at Estadio Caliente in the CCL quarterfinals a year ago. Bradley Wright-Phillips scored both goals in that opening leg win.
“I’m hoping for another Tijuana,” Wright-Phillips said. “I feel like I owe the team a couple of goals. Let’s see what I can do.”
Added Kaku: “We understand in the locker room what we have to do, everyone understands the mistakes we made. We did well in Tijuana last year scoring a lot of goals. We’re capable of doing it. It’s just a matter of taking it one goal at a time.”
Dealing on Duncan
The one lineup change that was forced on Armas was the inclusion of Kyle Duncan, who filled in for the suspended Michael Amir Murillo at right back. The 21-year-old played the entire 90 minutes after starting in a 1-1 draw against the Columbus Crew on Saturday.
It was a mostly positive performance from Duncan, who at times tried to do too much on the ball instead of opting to play simple.
“He’s a really interesting player, because he doesn’t look phased and he can run and there’s little things in there, he’s still going to grow and I think there’s a nice upside to his game,” Armas said. “You can see that in transition moments defensively, he can get back quickly and he can win foot races and he’s got a pretty good knack for getting forward. He was really good in the air tonight. He brought something different to the table.”
A long time coming
When the Red Bulls conceded just before halftime, it was the first goal a visiting team scored at Red Bull Arena in 799 minutes, dating back to a Diego Rossi leveler in the 53rd minute for LAFC back on August 5, 2018.